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Fire Fighters brave the elements for MD

Guelph Rooftop Campout 2016

Guelph Rooftop Campout 2016

Amongst the numerous ways Fire Fighters support Muscular Dystrophy Canada the Rooftop Campouts has become a very popular winter fundraising event.  It’s been over a decade since Rooftop Campouts were introduced in Alberta as another way for Fire Fighters, who have partnered with us since 1954, to challenge their communities to raise awareness and funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.  Rooftop Campouts have expanded nationwide and you can find one in every province throughout Canada.  Fire Fighter participants will endure below freezing temperatures, or opt for blistering summer heat, inclement weather, and whatever else nature throws their way during multi-day Rooftop Campouts.

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PEI Fire Fighter volunteers to help others – as a Fire Fighter and Muscular Dystrophy Canada Supporter

Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald is the chief of the East River Volunteer Fire Fighters from Prince Edward Island.  He has a full time job with Atlantic Enterprise Limited as a lines men and operator.  But that’s not all! Rod is also the liaison to Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) responsible for organizing all the fundraising and awareness activities the department holds.  Rod has been fundraising with MDC for about 12 years, and  got involved in the leadership role in 2007.  He really enjoys being in this leadership position because, as he says it’s fun!  It’s become an adrenaline rush for him to challenge himself and the department to see how much money can be raised.  As well, it can be a fun team building exercise for the members to get together outside of fire fighter duties.

???????????????????????????????Muscular Dystrophy Canada is close to Rod’s heart due to his continuing support of the cause, and the friends he has  met along the way. Rod has a friend who has a neuromuscular disorder whom he and fellow department members have known for over 20 years . Rod says, “To see this person at 20 walking, and now confined to a wheelchair sometimes is hard to take. This is where I get my motivation to push harder and to get other departments on the island to fundraise.”

???????????????????????????????Rod cites the best thing that’s happened to him through his MDC work was receiving a heartfelt thank you from a father from Los Angeles, California whose  three year old son has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) during our Rooftop Campout. He explains, “ It just puts a lump in your throat. It is just amazing on how good news travels.”

Rod’s favourite event has become ??????????????????????????????? the Rooftop Campout.  East River’s first annual Rooftop Campout just happened on July 25 to 27th. Fighters braved the wind, rain and heat for 3 days camping out on the roof of the gas bar at the Ultramar and Robin Donuts at the Scotchfort Reserve on St. Peters Highway.  Rod spent both nights in the elements, and fellow Fire Fighters rotated through the other nights.  There were 14 men and women from the department assisting with the event by collecting donations, sleeping over and stopping by in the middle of the night to drop donations in the boot.  Several news outlets covered the event including CBC and The Guardian, the local newspaper.

???????????????????????????????The Rooftop Campout exceeded Rod’s expectations and he couldn’t believe the number of people who stopped by to thank the fire fighters for their efforts.  In 48 hours, the Fire Fighters raised $5,800 from the campout – what makes this even more remarkable is that the money was raised in a community of approximately 200 people.

Way to go!

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National Volunteer Week 2013: Thank you Fire Fighters

Sarnia RC 1Canadian Fire Fighters have played an integral role for Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1954.  Since that time, Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been supported by more than 600 Fire Departments and Associations across Canada, who currently raise close to $3 million dollars annually – for a total of over $70 million since 1954.  Each year, Career and Volunteer Fire Fighters give time both during their on and off-duty hours to organize Boot Drives, Rooftop Campouts, car washes, pancake breakfasts, magic shows, “Buck For Luck” campaigns, pub crawls, ladder-a-thons, raffles, and sporting events in support of an estimated 50,000 Canadians with neuromuscular disorders.  Through education, support, and media relations they generate much needed awareness of muscular dystrophy like no one else can.

We thank them for being our heroes every day, and for making a difference in the lives of people with neuromuscular disorders.  Here are just a couple examples of the amazing Fire Fighters who are helping make muscles move!

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Day in the Life: Jason Davison, Sarnia Professional Firefighter and Rooftop Campout Participant

Jason Davison-SarniaJason Davison, Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association L492

Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association Rooftop Campout 

When Chris Ireland, our Muscular Dystrophy Canada Firefighter representative, approached us with the idea of the Rooftop Campout I knew that I wanted to be on that rooftop. It was something new and fresh that still incorporated filling the boot but with a twist and is for a great cause. As soon as Chris started looking for campers I e-mailed him immediately. Within a few days we had heard back that the following members would be camping on the roof: Kevin Leplante, Doug McCurdy, Brad Lumgair, Randy McDonald, Jim Rose and myself. (more…)

Year to Come: 2013

YeartoCome2013Muscular Dystrophy Canada is looking forward to another exciting year in 2013.  We’re just a year away from the 60th anniversary of the organization in 2014, and we have lots happening to lead to that milestone.

Our dedicated Fire Fighter partners ended 2012 with a bang by starting off the Rooftop Campout season in Sarnia, ON and Nelson, BC, where thousands of dollars were raised.  Many more Rooftop Campouts will occur in the next few months during Canada’s chilly winter!

The 2013 Walk for Muscular Dystrophy season will begin May 4th when the first Walk event happens in Toronto.  The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy staff and planning committees have been busy organizing and there will be some new features and fun times to be had at all the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy events this year.  Be sure to check out the brand new Walk for Muscular Dystrophy site designed specifically for the Walk to read about all the details. Visit www.walkformusculardystrophy.ca.

There are several Research opportunities that have opened calls for applications, which can be found in the body of Moveit! and on our website.  In the fall, a publication called “Research in the Works” will be available to provide updates on all of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s research news.

Continue to read Moveit!, follow our Facebook, Twitter and blog and visit our website to stay updated on the many fundraising, research and services events that will come up in 2013.  Looking forward to a great 2013 filled with making muscles move! What are you most looking forward to?

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